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Reaping the Benefits: How to Monetize Your Podcast

Reaping the Benefits: How to Monetize Your Podcast

Podcasting offers a number of unique benefits that make it an ideal choice for content creators who want to get in front of potential customers to build their brands and get paid for their efforts!

But if you’re still on the fence about doing a podcast, here are some statistics to help convince you that podcasts are worth the effort, that they’re more than a fad. Podcasts have become a legitimate communication channel that’s gaining the trust of global audiences. And if you’re trying to reach millennials and Gen X users, a podcast has become an important medium.

Apple, the biggest podcast host, has 2,599,546 podcasts registered on its platform. Since many people launch a podcast and quit, there are some qualifying criteria. To officially qualify as a podcast, you must have at least three episodes, and at least one episode needs to be at least three minutes long. A look at these usage stats confirms the growing popularity of podcasts.

According to Infinite Dial stats, released in early 2023:

  • 64% of people in the US have listened to a Podcast, at least once, up from 55% in 2020, 57% in 2021, & 62% in 2022
  • 42% of people in the US (12+) listened to a podcast in the last month, up from 38% in 2022
  • 31% of people in the US (12+) listened to a podcast in the last week, up from 26% in 2022

top of mind marketing pew research study

According to a study by the Pew Research Center, users are looking to podcasts as a trusted news source. As they listen to topical discussions, they trust podcasts to be accurate.

  • Research by the University of California suggests that headphone listening is twice as effective for message reception. A whopping 93% of podcast consumption is happening on headphones. I’m not sure what to read into that—it may be that podcasts are reaching younger users?
  • A Spanish listener survey by Acast reveals that 97% of listeners have a positive perception of brands advertised on podcasts.

The bottom line: Podcasting’s role as one of trusted source of news, content and advertising continues to grow. Users are listening to podcasts in the same way that that they’re using their social media and video channels—they’ve become a (trusted) source of information and entertainment.


top of mind marketing top ten categories for programmatic spend

Podcasting creates a highly engaged and dedicated audience

Unlike other forms of content consumption, podcast listeners tend to be more attentive and invested in the content they consume. This level of engagement opens up opportunities for monetization through sponsorships and advertisements.

Podcasting provides a convenient and accessible way to consume content. Listeners can tune in to their favorite podcasts while commuting, working out or working in the garden. This convenience translates into higher listener retention and a larger potential audience, increasing the chances of successful monetization.

Podcasting is a unique platform for building a personal brand and establishing authority in a specific niche. By consistently delivering valuable and engaging content, you’re positioning yourself as an expert in your field, attracting potential sponsors and advertisers.

Podcast topics: Identifying the pain

To monetize your podcast, you need to understand your audience and their needs. If you’ve not created a customer persona, this is a good time to do it. You’ll build a comprehensive demographic profile that will represent your ideal customer. Conducting thorough market research also can provide valuable insights into the demographics, interests, and preferences of your audience.

  • Use podcast analytics to gather data on listener demographics, locations and listening habits. This information will help you tailor your podcast topics and monetization strategies to align with your audience’s preferences.
  • Leverage all of your communication channels to engage with your listeners–social media, email newsletter and your online communities. A wiki survey will help you identify audience pain points. By addressing the most immediate needs of your audience, you can deliver targeted monetization strategies.

How to start a podcast with no audience

Before you can monetize your podcast, you need to build your audience and start thinking about your calendar of podcast topics. Here are some effective strategies to increase your podcast’s reach and attract more listeners.

SEO principles: Optimizing your podcast

  • SEO starts with identifying your focus keyword and using that keyword in your podcast title, description, and episode titles to improve your search engine rankings.
  • Submit your podcast to popular directories such as Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Google Podcasts to reach a wider audience.
  • Leverage social media platforms to promote your podcast.
  • Use your podcast topic content and share it across various social media channels.
  • Encourage your listeners to share your episodes with their networks, increasing your podcast’s visibility and attracting new listeners.
  • Collaborate with other podcasters and influencers in your niche and continue to grow your network.
  • Guest appearances on other podcasts or participating in joint episodes can expose your podcast to a new audience and help you gain credibility in your industry.

By implementing these strategies consistently and providing valuable content, you can organically grow your podcast audience and increase your chances of successful monetization.

Monetizing your podcast: Sponsorships and advertisements

Sponsorships and advertisements are popular monetization methodologies for podcasts. What does a sponsorship look like? Sponsoring a podcast means a company pays the podcast producers or creators to promote their product. It could be for a single episode or a series.

An example: I created a website for a realtor client using their basic website builder. I’d never used this before, but was impressed with how easy this was to use. Anybody could create a website with this technology. They have tech support and charge $10/month to host the site. If I’m doing a series of podcasts on GoDaddy websites, I would reach out to GoDaddy and ask them to sponsor my series of podcasts.

top of mind marketing pitching your podcast to sponsors

How to get podcast sponsors

  • Pitch directly to GoDaddy, which gives me complete control but requires my understanding of the ad models.
  • Join a podcast network. The network takes a cut, but they do all the work. They also generally want to work with established podcasters—those with 5K-10K downloads/episode. Not for newbies.
  • Use a podcast marketplace, where they buy ad space and find fits between ad space and podcast. They charge 10-30% commission.
  • Podcorn is an ad marketplace uses an affiliate marketing model. Good option for new podcasters, as there’s no minimum number of downloads for qualification.

Podcast sponsorship strategies

  • Focus on creating high-quality content and building a loyal audience. Sponsors and advertisers are more likely to invest in podcasts with engaged listeners. Consistently deliver valuable and engaging episodes to attract potential sponsors.
  • Research and approach companies that align with your podcast’s niche and values. Develop proposals to potential sponsors that showcase the benefits of partnering with your podcast. Emphasize the unique value you can offer to sponsors, such as access to a specific demographic or a highly engaged audience.
  • Consider using dynamic ad insertion platforms that allow you to insert targeted ads into your episodes based on listener profiles.

This personalized approach enhances the listener experience and increases the chances of ad engagement.

The sales podcast: Putting it to work

Monetizing your podcast doesn’t have to be limited to sponsorships and advertisements. You can leverage your podcast to create and sell your own products or services, expanding your revenue streams.

  • Let’s go back to the pain and needs of your ideal client. What additional value can you provide to them? Create e-books, online courses, or exclusive membership programs.
  • Use your podcast as a platform to promote and market your products or services. Share valuable insights and sneak peeks into your offerings during your episodes. Additionally, create dedicated episodes or bonus content exclusively available to subscribers or customers. Share a case study or an example of how you’ve achieved goals for a client.

Establish partnerships with other businesses or experts in your niche. Collaborate on joint ventures, affiliate marketing programs, or cross-promotion initiatives to expand your reach and attract more customers.

By leveraging your podcast as a marketing tool for your products or services, you can generate additional revenue streams while providing value to your audience.

Podcasting platforms and hosting options

Once you’ve created your podcast episodes, you’ll need to choose a podcast hosting platform to distribute your content. Your audio files need a home. There are a few hosting options, each with its own set of features and pricing plans. Some popular podcast hosting platforms include:

  • Libsyn: Liberated Syndication, Inc. is a popular hosting platform that charges $5/mo for 3 hours.
  • Podbean: Free hosting platform for 3 hours of uploads/month
  • Buzzsprout: Free hosting for up to 2 hours of uploads/month

Consider your budget, technical requirements, and desired level of control when selecting a hosting platform. Research each option to find the one that best suits your needs.

Resources for starting a podcast

Starting a podcast can feel overwhelming—it’s a lot of work. Like a newsletter, once you’ve produced one, it’s time to get started on the next one. Here are some tools that podcasters are using, but there are new applications hitting the market. Talk to colleagues or fellow podcasters about what is helping make their jobs a little easier.

  • Audacity: A free and user-friendly audio editing software for podcasters.
  • Canva: A graphic design tool for creating eye-catching podcast cover art or social media graphics.
  • SquadCast: A remote podcast recording platform that allows you to interview guests from anywhere in the world.
  • Podcast Insights: A website that offers a wealth of information and resources for both beginner and experienced podcasters.
  • Podcasting communities and forums: Join online communities like r/podcasting or the Podcasting Facebook Group to connect with other podcasters and learn from their experiences.

These resources will help you streamline your podcasting and gain valuable insights from industry experts.

To stick with a podcast for the long haul, try to choose a format that helps you work towards a larger goal. For example, you may be using your podcast to reach a new audience or promote a new service. If so, showcase a new guest each week who can share the podcast with their own audiences and amplify your reach.

Ensure that a podcast fits into your workload

Decide how much time you can dedicate to your podcast, then figure out how you can customize the production to work for you. A consistent podcast style will be easier to manage and creates a strong value prop for new listeners.


  • Starting a podcast allows you to share your expertise and knowledge with a global audience.
  • Align your podcast with your brand and your goals. It takes careful planning and commitment to be successful.
  • Experiment, refine your content, and adapt to the changing landscape. Stay consistent, provide value to your listeners, and enjoy the journey.

Contact Top of Mind Marketing. We’re writers and digital media specialists, 510.292.1843,

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